Austal has launched the U.S. Navy’s 13th Independence-variant littoral combat ship, the future USS Mobile (LCS 26), at its facility in Mobile, Alabama on Jan. 11.
The LCS is a high speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatant of the U.S. Navy designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. It is a modular, reconfigurable ship designed to meet validated fleet requirements for anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and mine countermeasures (MCM) missions.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom-variant, and the Independence-variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).
Four additional Independence-variant ships are under construction at Austal USA: the future USS Oakland (LCS 24), USS Mobile (LCS 26), USS Savannah (LCS 28) and USS Canberra (LCS 30). Four additional ships are awaiting the start of construction: the future USS Santa Barbara (LCS 32), USS Augusta (LCS 34), USS Kingsville (LCS 36) and USS Pierre (LCS 38).
Two Independence-variant LCS — the future USS Oakland (LCS 24) and USS Mobile — are planned for delivery later this year.